Remote collaboration

5 Collaborative Competencies & Qualities Your Organisation Must Have

Collaborative competence is so important as a force multiplier in an age when more and more small businesses are trying to compete for established markets.


So, we all know that collaboration is important. We’ve said it, most of the rest of the world has said, and the rapid proliferation of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) collaboration and management products like Monday and Mural stands as a testimonial to the importance that both businesses and individuals place on collaboration.

And it’s no surprise. Effective collaboration is essentially a force multiplier. In an age when more and more small businesses and independent disruptors are emerging to scoop up niche audiences that larger and more established organisations often move too slowly to serve, agile collaboration is what allows them to compete.

But, at the same time, collaborative efforts often fail.

Whether you’re aligning designers and copywriters in your marketing department or organising residents’ schedules as a part of your neighbourhood watch, your organisation will require a number of qualities and competencies in order to facilitate effective, goal-oriented cooperation.

 

Clear mission and shared goal

It may seem obvious that any collaborative effort should be built on the back of a shared goal. No one would intentionally work at cross-purposes. But it often happens anyway.

The thing is, we don’t always know whether or not the rest of our team or organisation has the same perspective of our shared goal as we do. You have to remember that – especially as teams and companies grow more diverse and inclusive – everyone is a little bit different, we all have our own unique perspectives, and that can easily lead to differing interpretations of the same project mission or organisational goal.

This is made doubly complicated when cooperation is taking place at the organisational level, and collaborative teams are comprised of individuals from completely different corporate cultures, accustomed to working within different processes.

In general, most uncertainty about a stated goal should be clarified by having leaders in place whose actions clearly represent the organisation or project’s purpose. These individuals live the mission, serve as a collaborative rallying point, and clear decision-making bottlenecks.

Over and above this, employing the right collaboration software can vastly improve consistent communication and reinforcement of the mission and goals. Speaking of which…

 

Collaboration tools and software

In the current global environment of hybrid work and market disruptions, any attempt at effective collaboration would be doomed to fail without the use of digital task management and project tracking SaaS tools like the Papillio Innovation Toolkit.

Not only do these cloud-based platforms allow speed-of-thought idea sharing and the creation and engagement of geographically unrestricted collaborative teams, but they often offer functionality that would be enhance teams even if they were working in the same physical space.

For example, using Papillio, a team could visually and verbally communicate and refine a project concept on a digital whiteboard – enhancing clarity with images and other visual aids. Without leaving their desks or opening another program, they could plot the milestones of their project plan on a customisable calendar, cross-referencing with integrated task boards to ensure that there aren’t conflicting schedules. Going a step further, their team leader could check in on the results of their ideation session at any point to add his/her own notes on thoughts. Alternately, the team could use the platform to present their project plan before proceeding.

The point is that tools and software can massively augment the individual’s (and, by extension, the organisation’s) collaborative capacity.

 

Culture of diversity

While most businesses seem happy to celebrate diversity in their workforces and their markets, it doesn’t seem like very many ever stop to ask “why?”

And it’s an easy question to answer. Diverse perspectives offer different viewpoints and therefore unique ways to solve problems. This can often lead to innovation.

To put this truism into real-world terms, consider the story of the old glass elevator at the El Cortez Hotel in San Diego.

Back in the 1950s, a new elevator was to be installed in the El Cortez and a team of architects was hired to plan out the job in such a way as to minimise disruptions to the business. The plans they drew up would require that the hotel be closed for several months while they cut holes through the hotel floors to accommodate installation.

Reportedly, a janitor who was aware of the plans – and whose perspective was concerned with the mess that would be made and the jobs of the floor staff that would be lost for the months the hotel – asked why the elevator could not be installed on the exterior of the El Cortez.

The result was the world’s first outside elevator, and a design that would go on to be copied by a number of other hotels.

 

Ability to identify team members’ strengths and weaknesses

Obviously, to make the most of each member of a collaborative team, it is important to understand what each of their strengths and weaknesses are. This will allow you to appropriately assign them to projects on which they’re more likely to excel, as well as to pair them with team mates with whom they are professionally compatible.

Depending on circumstance, understanding the weaknesses of team members and employees allows you to target those weaknesses with supplementary training or by assignment to projects and teams that will facilitate development in an area of weakness.

Think of the Avengers (yes, the Avengers). When spaceships are attacking Earth, Captain Marvel and Thor – not Black Widow – are the ones tasked with taking them out. That’s not to say that Black Widow couldn’t get the job done, but she’d probably need the team’s support.

In a collaborative team, it’s important to be able to identify everyone’s super power.

 

Transparency

To develop a culture of collaboration, trust is of utmost importance. And trust is built on transparency.

This is as true between organisations and teams as it is between individual team members themselves. Without transparency, a culture of guesswork can foment in which individual employees can feel that they must always be guessing at the true intentions of the organisation.

This can easily lead to a lack of clarity of the purpose of a project or how it interacts with the broader organisational goals.

 

Papillio – a platform for asynchronous collaboration

In the modern world of working, organisations have to be able to collaborate and lead across geographical distances, without regard for time zones or borders. This requires the capacity for effective and effortless collaboration – making allowances for employees realities, preferences, and work-life balances, without sacrificing business processes and objectives.

The Papillio Innovation Toolkit and collaboration platform was developed with visual and workflow collaboration functionality, allowing teams and leaders to digitally collaborate, brainstorm, and manage projects.

Book a free live demo, and let’s discuss how to unlock your team’s collaborative potential!

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